Online theatre criticism workshops

May 2 2020 | By More

Edin Theatre Crit starts online workshops

The Guardian’s Edinburgh-based theatre critic Mark Fisher is taking his 2015 book How To Write About Theatre online, in a series of paid-for Zoom workshops.

Fisher is the Guardian’s Scotland and North of England theatre critic. He has also led criticism workshops at universities and theatres all over the UK and as far afield as Malta, Brazil and Chile as a result of his book.

How to Write About Theatre author Mark Fisher with Winchester Young Critics. Pic: Carl Woodward

He says that the workshops introduce key ideas about theatre reviewing, encouraging the participants to put those ideas into practice and discuss the challenges involved.

“It’s obviously a difficult time for theatre writers, as it is for all those involved in the performing arts,’’ says Fisher. “But the lockdown is also an opportunity to take stock, refine skills and prepare for more bountiful reviewing times ahead.

“I’m encouraged by the early take-up of the online workshops, with participants coming from Cardiff, London and Ottawa, which suggests the appetite for learning is still there.”

The one-time editor of Edinburgh’s List magazine is testing the market by offering his two-hour workshops at various times of the day. He is capping participant numbers at 15 and says that he welcomes any level of experience, from newcomers to old hands.

For those who would like to go into greater depth, he is offering expert advice in one-to-one feedback sessions.

express our enjoyment

“The thinking behind How to Write About Theatre is applicable not only to theatre criticism, but to all arts writing, says Fisher. “The workshops always generate lively discussions about how to express our enjoyment of plays, films, novels, music, television and food – anything that captures the imagination. It’s an endlessly fascinating topic and I can’t wait to meet the participants online.”

Besides reviewing theatre, Fisher is the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012), which was an essential read for those planning on coming to the Edinburgh Fringe in pre-Covid times. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995) and co-convenor of the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland.

Fisher’s first foray into journalism was as editor of Limelight – an XTC fanzine – which he collated into the XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology in 2017, followed in February 2019 by What Do You Call That Noise?: An XTC Discovery Book, featuring contemporary interviews with all the band’s members.

Places on the How to Write About Theatre Online Workshops are £20 for two hours.

Booking is at


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